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Geoffrey Rush, 2006

by William Yang

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2007 Finalist

Geoffrey Rush, 2006

In his time he had played a clown, a madman, a pirate, a pianist, a count, a drug dealer, a dog and an alchemist, and now he was putting on the mask again, to play a king who dies. I have a collection of dressing room shots as I often go to plays and am a lover of theatre. I've photographed Geoffrey before at the Belvoir Street Theatre; we both have a connection to it. This was before he won the Oscar, but he always acknowledges that we knew each other before that defining event. He's not shy and was running around the dressing room in his underpants the whole time. When I asked him if I could use the photos he said, well not too many in my underpants. Not that I've chosen an underpants shot; it was the face that intrigued, half made up - the character of the deluded king combined with the real person, the actor, the veteran of many plays.